Allison and I have been best friends for ten years.

We met during our freshman year of high school, and have been inseparable ever since. At the time, we were both attending different high schools, and a few years later, we found ourselves at different colleges. After a handful of misguided months, I transferred, and we eventually wound up at the same college, and were even housemates for awhile. (Though we’ve both come to realize cohabitation isn’t really our thing.)

Our relationship has survived countless studies abroad, summer internships, and quarter life crises. And if you’ve been reading NSB for any length of time at all, you already know – she’s more of a soulmate than a best friend.

Over the last decade, we’ve traveled together, traveled separately, and last year when she moved to Bend, the gap between us grew to nearly 2,000 miles.

Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot about surviving long distance best friendship over the past ten years. There’s a lot of good, a lot of not so good, and a few different ways we’ve learned to cope.

the good

The Travel // “I’ll meet you in New York?” Yeah. We can actually say things like that.

If it weren’t for that girl, there are so many places I wouldn’t have gotten to see or experience. Together we’ve been to Belize, Mexico, London, Kenya, NYC, Boston, Oregon, and a handful of other places. She just makes my life more exotic. Now that she basically gets paid to travel the world on her own, she’s always on the go, and it just makes sense to hop on a plane and meet up to explore another great American city together.

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. // It’s true. Not having regular access to your BFF automatically makes togetherness so much sweeter. And every time we are reunited again, we get weirdly giddy and also extremely territorial. Don’t bother trying to hang out with us together, we’ll only ignore you.

not so good

The Time Difference // For Allison and I, this might be the hardest part. I’m an 8-5 girl, and she’s a self-employed traveling photographer and night owl. Even when we were in the same city, our schedules were opposite. But add in a two hour time difference? Oh man. By the time she’s feeling chatty, I’m hopping into bed. Like, no. Don’t ever call me after 10pm.

The “How-dare-you-do-anything-fun-with-anyone-besides-me” Jealousy Complex // Y’all. It’s a real thing. It’s even more real when you see them hanging out with people you’ve never even met. Big fat thank you to social media for that.

Oh look there’s Allison with a bunch of randos doing shit WAY COOLER THAN HANGING OUT WITH ME.

And yes I did just go to her Facebook and steal the first picture containing people I don’t recognize. Sorry randos. It’s not personal. Haha kidding – it’s highly personal.

how we cope

Becoming REALLY strong texters. // And doing it ALL THE TIME. And not just about serious things, about the non-serious things too. Because things like this will make your day. (And even provide inspiration for a wildly entertaining blog series – TFMBF.)

Sure, occassionally Allison and I might go a day or two without texting, but the fact is we really do need each other. I can’t imagine going through life without the one person who isn’t afraid to virtually bitch slap me when I’m being ridiculous.

Facetime. // Big thanks to Steve Jobs for creating this relationship saving thing we call Facetime. Allison and I don’t really even Facetime all that much, but when we do, it’s pretty epic.

Visits. And LOTS of ‘em. // Even though we are technically in a long distance best friendship, I’d be lying if I said we often go more than a month or two without seeing each other. She travels back to Dallas often for work, and occasionally I’ll trek off to Oregon to see her.

Sometimes I get lucky, and there are months where I end up seeing her every weekend. Like this past one.

Maintaining the silly traditions. // I’m lucky that she travels back for work so often, because we have so many annual dates and traditions that we refuse to give up.

Like annual best friends day where we hit up Thanksgiving sales, shop for ourselves, and also simultaneously celebrate Adrien Brody’s birthday? Yes – that’s a thing.

And our yearly Christmas Even breakfast at Cracker Barrel? Wouldn’t dream of rescheduling it.

Those made up holidays might seem meaningless to anyone else, but to us – they’re everything. We remember the firsts like they were yesterday, and we can’t imagine having to give those up just because of a couple thousand miles.

Really – that’s it. No special secrets or formulas. We talk a lot. We see each other a lot. We have a history that spans ten years and has seen everything from first tampon uses to broken hearts. We’re really strange, and completely and totally perfect for each other.

Annnd just for shits and giggles – a photo of us from 2006. We look basically the same and our good sides haven’t changed in ten years.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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Oy vey. It’s been over 48 hours, and still – my feet y’all.

But oh man, what a weekend.

We started out Emily’s Bachelorette weekend out on Saturday afternoon with a little lingerie shower and some solid girl time.

For the shower snacks, we thought it’d be fun to go with “Emily’s favorite foods” as a theme. We like to give Emily a hard time for her taste in food. Let’s just say – girlfriend eats like a twelve year old. But I will gladly take any excuse to nom on some Bagel Bites.

Honestly though, is she not the cutest bride you’ve ever seen in your entire life?

And mimosas were, of course, a must-have.

After the shower, we all piled into our cars and headed downtown to check into the Fairmont.

That view though.

Within about 10 seconds of checking in, I’d located the robes, and most importantly – the champagne.

A few months back, I stumbled across a post on Instagram of a bachelorette party where all the girls had Bride and Team Bride trucker hats.

UM, YES. YES PLEASE.

I found these on Etsy, and ordered one for Emily in hot pink, and one for all the other girls in black, keeping with our color scheme. And these babies were a HUGE hit.

After a little bit of fooling around, we changed into our night out attire and headed up to the rooftop pool to snap some pictures. We put Allison in charge of taking the real pictures, but here are just a few from my phone.

Ugh. My friends are hot and I don’t want to talk about it.

Emily is the sweetest, and she gifted all of us with little bottles of champagne and these adorable koozies. And you know how I feel about koozies.

And then it was time to hit the town!

Our dinner reservations weren’t until 9, so we started the evening out with a patio cocktail at Tate’s.

Annnnd this is where the shameless selfies begin. Or continue. Whatever.

After cocktails, we grabbed a quick Uber and headed over to Stampede 66 for dinner.

Emily started out with Stampede’s signature drink, the Modern Star Canyon Margarita. It’s made with liquid nitrogen, two different types of tequila, prickly pear, lime, and candied jalapenos. And, it just looks cool.

I couldn’t resist the Mexican Cornbread for an appetizer.

For dinner, I ordered the bacon wrapped meatloaf with a side of skillet mac & cheese.

It was good, but I was really jealous of Alli’s chicken fried steak. Food envy is THE WORST.

While we were having dinner, a group of guys with a bachelor party came up to our table and asked if they could buy Emily a shot to take with groom-to-be.

No. We hate free booze.

He was such a champ sporting that Team Bride hat. They were really a sweet group of guys, and it was super fun to be able to kick off the night!

I can neither confirm nor deny the events that took place after dinner, but I can assure you – there was a LOT of dancing.

All I can say is, thank goodness for those hats. They complemented our “morning after” outfits quite nicely.

So yes, a pretty epic weekend. And now the countdown is on! Just 24 more days until we are celebrating as #TeamBride again!

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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Happy Monday!

I’m recovering from one hell of a weekend. So while I work on getting the recap of Emily’s epic bachelorette party together, let’s get caught up on marathon training with a little Monday Runday.

Since I was sick for most of week 2 and only got one run in, I skipped last week’s recap, but I’ve got plenty to report for week 3.

Monday // 4 miles – CHECK.

After a pretty typical Monday, I managed to squeeze in four miles before dinner. This was a really nice, almost fall feeling run.

Splits were 9:07, 8:58, 8:40, and 8:31. A solid (but unplanned) progression run.

Tuesday //  I think I am supposed to be cross training on Tuedays. Ooops. My bad. I took the stairs at work. How long can I get away with using that as “exercise?” Let me know.

Wednesday // 6 mile hill run – CHECK.

OWWWW. It hurt and it was hard and I hated every minute of it. I did a mile and a half warmup, 3 miles of hellish hill repeats, and a 1.5 mile cooldown.

Splits were 9:10, 8:58, 9:04, 9:17, 9:06, and 8:43.

As I was walking back home, this guy pulled up next to me. With french fries. Be still my lazy wife heart.

Thursday // 5 miles – FAIL.

This guy surprised me with a little date night. I burned however many calories it takes to lift a glass of chardonnay. Sorry I’m not even a teeny bit sorry.

Friday // Rest – CHECK. I’m really excelling at these rest days.

Saturday // 14 miles – CHECK.

I actually wound up going out to Dallas to spend the evening with Alli, so I got to do my long run around White Rock Lake. It was the most beautiful morning we’ve had this fall. Or at least the most beautiful morning that I’ve been awake for. No filters needed for this sunrise.

I hit the ground running (HA – literally) by 7:15, and I just couldn’t help but snap a ton of pictures.

The path around the lake is about 9 miles, so I did the loop once, then ran 2.5 miles out and back.

I stopped for gel at miles 5 and 10, and finished with a good amount of energy. I think a gel every 45 – 50 minutes is the perfect amount for me. (PS – AccelGel is my favorite.)

It was definitely starting to warm up when I finished, but man was it gorgeous.

14 miles DONE.

Splits for this run were 9:14, 9:10, 8:54, 9:17, 9:19, 9:22, 9:13, 9:23, 9:13, 8:58, 9:11, 9:05, 9:00, 8:46. A little sporadic, but faster than I’ve been doing my long runs lately, and I finished feeling strong, so I’m good with that.

And this girl being there at the imaginary finish line (aka – my car) was the icing on the cake.

And then we celebrated with my signature Einstein’s bagel sandwich.

General thoughts // I was really happy with how good I felt during every run last week. I was a little worried that being out sick and missing so many runs might set me back a little bit, but it doesn’t seem like it has. I foam rolled and stretched after Monday and Wednesday’s runs, but not much at all after Saturday’s long run. Alli and I were running around like crazy getting things ready for Emily’s bachelorette festivities. PS – running 14 miles and then throwing on heels and going out and dancing until 1am is not an ideal recovery plan. Just sayin’. Plan better next time.

Going into this next week, I’m looking forward to what is supposed to be a week of lower temps. After today, we are supposed to be seeing high 70′s all week. I’m crossing my fingers!

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • What great progress. Oh my word I think I would have been out for the count well before 1AM if I had just run 14 miles, haha!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Oh man, it was rough! Running on pure adrenaline!ReplyCancel

  • Are we seriously on the same training week too? I swear I’m not copying you. SWEAR.

    Especially if you’re the one responsible for the decapitated donkey pinata head that was left in my office today while I was at lunch. Clearly it was a message from someone.

    Great job on the comeback after being sick! I’ve found that some of my best runs happen after a short unplanned hiatus.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Well thanks. But prettyyyyyy sure you ARE copying me. #justsayinReplyCancel

  • Looks like you had a beautiful day for your long run! I have been loving the fall weather we’ve had here for the past 3 days or so!ReplyCancel

  • PROUD OF YOU. Keep on keeping on, you’re kicking ass.ReplyCancel

  • I admire you for being able to do this! I tried running with my husband once…I lasted 50 ft before I was out of breath. hahaReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Haha, well it’s taken me a long time to get here, don’t be fooled!ReplyCancel

  • Erin

    Taking the stairs is 100% cross training and I speak from experience here. Your run in Dallas looks beautiful! I am visiting Dallas in the spring and will definitely have to check out that running spot while I’m there. Congrats on rockin out your marathon training!ReplyCancel

It’s Friday, and my heart is so damn happy. For about a million reasons. So let’s just hop right into it with Friday favorites!

1. Impromptu Date Nights | That guy I married took me out for a surprise dinner date last night! Partially to celebrate 6 months of marriage, but mostly because we’ll take any excuse to splurge on a fancy dinner.

Tay and I have always chosen The Keg as our go-to restaurant for celebrating relationship milestones, so of course that’s where we wound up.

My favorite thing on the menu is the bacon wrapped filet with veggies and a twice-baked potato that is to die for. Last night I paired it with a delicious glass of chardonnay, and oh yes, I was in heaven.

Our sweet server asked if we were celebrating anything special, and we told her we just were using our “six month anniversary” as an excuse to treat ourselves to an awesome meal. But at the end of the meal she surprised us with a free dessert and champagne! This Swiss mocha ice cream on Oreo crust was unbelievable.

I cheers’d to 6 more months of marriage and Taylor was all, “REALLY.” and looked at me like I was a moron. I was like, “HEY – baby steps, bro.

Basically we ate until we wanted to throw up and I honestly can’t think of anything in the entire world more romantic than that.

2. This video from the Dove Legacy Campaign | This has been around for a few  weeks, but I stumbled across it Monday. I was a total basket case by the end of the 2 minutes and 55 seconds. It’s a really remarkable video that shows just how important it is for women (and especially mothers) to set a positive example of loving their bodies.

3. This new favorite snack | Oh my God, y’all. These things are the best. Salty, greasy potato chips are a huge vice of mine. I just crave crunch. I found these a few weeks back at Target, and I’m loving grabbing a handful for a little snack during work. They’ve got a few flavors that I need to try out, but right now the simple sea salt are doing a great job of satisfying my cravings.

4. This article about dating text messages vs. married text messages. | I had a good laugh reading this one. It’s totally true. They compared the most frequently used words and the time of day most texts are exchanged. A quick and pretty entertaining read.

5. This girl’s bachelorette bash! | This weekend is all about celebrating this bride-to-be! I’m so so excited for a weekend filled with penis straws, little black dresses, and dancing until dawn! Emily, your bachelorette party is going to be epic, and I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT to party with you! 

What are your Friday favorites?! What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Happy Friday!

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • Your date night sounded amazing. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a little over 8 years (known him since the second grade) and people always assume we’re getting married like tomorrow and while I’m thinking some day we will I’m alwayyys like “pump the brakes guys…baby steps” haha so I got you. & you’re 1000% right…nothing more romantic than eating your weight in food.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Hahahaha, when people are like, here’s to 50 years of wedded bliss I’m like WHOA. Can’t we just see how the first one goes? I’d hate to over commit.ReplyCancel

  • The food from your date night looks delicious! That cake! I am drooling.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I would be lying if I told you the Oreo crust wasn’t my favorite part.ReplyCancel

  • I want you to know, I just went and bought Pop Chips from the vending machine at work because a) you told me they’re delicious, and b) it’s 10:22 a.m. and I’m already hungry for lunch. YOU WERE RIGHT THEY’RE DELIGHTFUL. Happy 6 months you crazy kids. :) ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I WISH MY VENDING MACHINE SOLD POP CHIPS. All they have are m&m’s and flaming hot cheetos.ReplyCancel

  • Everything about that meal sounds amazing. Happy 6 months!ReplyCancel

  • I love the sweet and salty pop chips. a lot. My exciting weekend plans are my bachelorette! It’s going to be a ton of fun tomorrow night.ReplyCancel

  • Bacon, steak, penis straws… Sounds like a legit weekend line up.ReplyCancel

  • I LOVE Pop Chips! I recently discovered them too – so far, I really like the Cheddar ones. Mmmm…I’m contemplating leaving the house right now to go grab some!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Ahhh I need to get my hands on those! I’ve heard the sweet potato ones are amazing too!ReplyCancel

  • […] recovering from one hell of a weekend. So while I work on getting the recap of Emily’s epic bachelorette party together, let’s get caught up on marathon training with a little Monday […]ReplyCancel

I’ve got to be totally honest with you.

For as much as I love running, there’s also a handful of things that I hate. So in an ode to the late Heath Ledger (may his beautiful face rest in peace), today I’m talking about ten of those.

1 // Salt. I didn’t notice this until I started training for Cowtown Half. And I don’t know if it’s something about my body chemistry that changed when I started running “longer” distances consistently, but now any run over a half an hour leaves me covered in salt. And the runs that are 2 + hours? SO MUCH SALT. I feel like I could salt an extra large Mickey D’s fry with what I’ve got stuck to my face. Is that gross? Whatever. Don’t care.

2 // Pressure. Because I’ve thrown my love for running out there into the Universe, it feels like I’m always chatting with someone about it. I really do love it, but I also feel an overwhelming amount of guilt those times that someone asks me how running is going, and it’s been nearly a week since I’ve laced up my running shoes. Realistically – putting that kind of pressure on myself is ridiculous. Saying “no” when someone asks me if I’ve run today should not be a big deal. Sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I’m hurting. Sometimes I would really just rather sleep in, or watch an extra episode of Property Brothers. And none of that means that I’m any less of a runner. But there’s still a small part of me that can’t help but feel a little like a failure for not being 100% dedicated 100% of the time.

3 // Low Battery Chirp. I’m married to my Garmin. I can’t even tell you the last time I went for a run with a naked wrist. But because I use that bad boy so often, every so often there will come a day when I (of course) forget to charge it. Then I get to run to the soundtrack of a low battery chirp, never knowing if and/or when it’s going to give up on me and crap out completely.

4 // Chafing. Ugh. Just UGH. I have a dream that one day…I’ll be able to run without my thighs flapping together. I mean it, I can’t run ten feet without Body Glide. It’s a curse that has absolutely nothing to do with my affinity for beer and french fries. Right?

5 // Time. There will never, EVER be enough hours in the day. Especially when you’re training for a marathon. Working 9-10 hour days, coming home, cooking a decent meal, finding time to blog, and actually hanging out with my husband for more than ten minutes is a LOT to juggle in one day. Then trying to add running in to that daily mix? My god. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

6 // Friday Nights IN. Ugh, this one is hard. I hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE saying no to a crazy night out. I hate knowing that my friends are out there having a good time, pounding back burgers and shots of fireball without me. Really – the nerve. But if I’m going to be awake with enough energy to run 14 miles first thing on a Saturday morning, my belly has to be burger-less, and my butt has to be in bed by 10.

7 // Money. People who say running is basically a free sport are LYING. Running might be the most convenient of all sports, but there’s no way it can be the cheapest. No freakin’ way.  You need good shoes, decent clothes that don’t contribute to the aforementioned chafing issue, and HI – have you ever registered for a race? We’re talkin’ anywhere from $50-$150 just for a decently organized one. My bank account bleeds cash on a regular basis - all in the name of running.

8 // Foam Rolling & Stretching. It’s not that I hate it, it’s just I don’t want to take the time to do it. You know what I’d rather do? Lay down. Or cook dinner. Or have someone spoon Nutella into my mouth for me. But nooooo, I’ve got to sit down and stretch (OW) so that my muscles don’t spaz out and I’m actually able to walk the next day.

9 // Spit. If ladylike is what you’re seeking, then please, just keep on walking. Because I am such a spitter. I can’t run a half a mile with out hocking up something completely disgusting. Thank God Taylor refuses to run with me. That would do wonders for our love life. (Not.)

10 // Cars/Bikes/Anything or Anyone that gets in my way. WHYYYYYYY do you have to place yourself directly in my path? Just WHY. It seems like there’s always someone or something in my way. Lady pushing a stroller? Must you really. Toddler riding a tricycle? That asshole needs to be taught a lesson. Car that decides to stop DIRECTLY in the pedestrian crosswalk just as I’m in the middle of my fastest mile?? THIS HAS TO BE A CONSPIRACY. If everybody could just do me a solid, and be aware of where I am at all times and adjust their placement accordingly – I’d really appreciate it.

So yeah, there are some things I hate about running. But then this happens.

And I fall in love all over again.

LOVE&HUGS,

Natalie

 

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  • Further to #10 – DOGS. Oh, your owners let you play unsupervised in the front yard? That’s cool. I’m sure it’ll be my fault when you attack my ankles, chase me down the street, and then get lost.

    I love dogs. LOVE dogs.

    I hate unsupervised dogs while I’m running. HATE them.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Haha YES! I haven’t had to deal with that one too too much, but it is a little terrifying when you don’t know whether a dog is coming to lick you or attack you. Also – PILES of dog poop. Sick.ReplyCancel

  • I really do not understand the salt thing. Does that mean that I need to replace all the salt that is now on my face?? ugh and people/objects that get in my way are the worst!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I DON’T EITHER! I don’t get it!! Someone else needs to do some research on that and get back to me.ReplyCancel

  • I feel your pain on this! I used to run on a daily basis and the struggle is real, particularly staying in on a Friday night in order to complete Saturday’s run. My running actually came to a halt when my social life picked up and now I find it much easier to use workout DVDS. They tend to be shorter and work more muscles for strength building purposes, which I prefer now!

    Plus getting up the energy to run during the colder months is not the one!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      It’s SO hard. But I find I’m a lot more motivated to run in the winter than in the warmer spring and summer months. Mainly because Texas.ReplyCancel

  • I already can’t stand when people block my path and that’s just when I’m walking. I think if you’re running and obviously being more fit and awesome than the average slow walker/stroller pusher/tricycling toddler/lethargic dog, you should automatically get free reign over the path. Just run them over. I bet next time they’ll get out of your way.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Bahahaha. I don’t mind people being OUT there, but I do mind them taking up the whole damn path. Or being on the phone and not being aware of their surroundings. SELFISH PEOPLE NEED TO MOVE BECAUSE I’M OBVIOUSLY MORE IMPORTANT.ReplyCancel

  • Kim

    1) I’m digging your list-posts.
    2) I’m not a runner, but I do bike and I can’t stand it either when people take up the WHOLE FRIGGIN path. Especially when I’m coming towards you and so you CLEARLY see me and then you still don’t move. And then it’s my fault if I almost hit you. Gahhhh.
    3) I love that you love the Property Brothers. Because I loooove the Property Brothers. They’ve been a great consolation since Zachary Levi is now dead to me.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Hahahahahaha. Oh man, I forgot your are still in mourning over ZL.ReplyCancel

  • Erin

    yes to the low battery chirp. and then your run becomes a race against the life of your garmin. I start getting all Grey’s Anatomy and willing it to live and thinking, ‘don’t you give up on me now! you have so much to live for!!!!’ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      BAhahahahahaha. That was awesome. And YES – so true! It’s like the whole run would all be for nothing if I don’t have the data to back it up!ReplyCancel

  • […] was inspired by Nat’s post over at neverseriousblog.com, and I’m going to shamelessly steal her idea – but put a twist on […]ReplyCancel